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April 18, 2006
First ever street needs assessment takes place Wednesday April 19, 2006
Results will help to end homelessness

The City of Toronto will conduct its first ever Street Needs Assessment on April 19, 2006. More than 1,500 volunteers comprised of members of the public, community agencies, the private sector and City staff will conduct the assessment. The goal of the assessment is to survey the needs of homeless persons living on Toronto’s streets and in its public spaces in order to help them find and keep permanent housing. The assessment will also be examining the needs of people staying in shelters. The assessment will begin at various times across the city.

The Street Needs Assessment is a survey. The success of the survey requires teams of volunteers, supported by a Team Leader, to interview everyone they meet as they walk through specified areas to determine if they are homeless. The co-operation of the public is greatly appreciated.

The City’s Street Outreach Steering Committee has representatives from 34 community agencies and various City Divisions and helped create the approach for the Street Needs Assessment.

The Street Needs Assessment will not identify the specific location of any homeless individual. All team leaders and volunteers will sign a confidentiality agreement. Results of the survey will only be reported out at the City-wide or Community Council district level or by type of location.

The findings of the Street Needs Assessment will be reported to Community Services Committee and then to City Council in July 2006.

For media covering the street needs assessment:

As the survey is being conducted in manner that protects the privacy of homeless persons, media will not be joining teams conducting the assessment.

A pre-briefing for media will take place on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. in the Rotunda of Metro Hall.

Media may attend the training sessions provided to volunteers.

Training for staff that will conduct the assessment in shelters begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Media may attend for a short period after 3:45 p.m. at the following locations: the Rotunda of Metro Hall, the Rotunda of City Hall and the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge Street. The training is expected to last a minimum of one hour.

Training for staff that will conduct the assessment on city streets begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Media may attend for a short period after 6:45 p.m. at the following locations: Room 307 of Metro Hall, Committee Room 3 of City Hall, John Innes Community Centre at 150 Sherbourne Street and the Wellesley Community Centre at 495 Sherbourne Street. The training is expected to last a minimum of one hour.

A briefing during the assessment will be provided to the media in the Rotunda of Metro Hall on Wednesday evening at 9:30 p.m. Some volunteers may be available to speak to media at this time.

For more information about the street needs assessment, please visit

Media contact:
Kevin Sack, City of Toronto, 416-397-5277 (office), 416-919-6500 (cell)



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